Apple's iPod has defined a generation, but its a generation in crisis, according to a new report from independent think tank Reform.

The report wants reduced taxation to help improve the lot of the generation - which it identifies as people under 35 in the UK.

As has been widely reported in the UK press, people in this demographic are described as the iPod generation: Insecure, Pressured, Over-taxed and Debt-ridden.

All give, no take

Authored by Professor Nick Bosanquet and Blair Gibbs, The Class of 2005 – the IPod generation, argues that young people face rising debts, great difficulty in getting on the housing ladder, falling returns from higher education and fierce competition in the labour market. At the same time recent public spending and tax increases mean that they face an unfairly high burden of taxation compared to older people while being under more pressure than ever to save for their own retirement.

It argues that people under 35 are being more heavily taxed than ever and hold little prospect of drawing benefit form this. "The welfare bargain has broken down", it says.

"A scheme of tax reductions and public spending discipline is urgently needed to restore fairness and to enable young people to make their proper contribution to economic growth," the report demands.

Fair deal for the young

Professor Nick Bosanquet said: "Young people are not getting a fair deal. Separate policy decisions are having the cumulative effect of mortgaging the future of a generation. People under 35 could be described as a cross-over generation who are paying the cost of the welfare state without being able to expect many of the benefits."

Andrew Haldenby, Director of Reform, said: "In today's Britain, it is more attractive economically to be 55 than 25. But the tendency of political parties, seen at the last election, is to ignore the interests of young people in favour of appealing to pensioners and those more likely to vote. Young people must be freed from the burden of high taxation if they are to make their vital contribution to economic growth and enterprise."